2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)
Worldwide Box Office: $872million (per 24th April 2023)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Fred Armison, Kevin Michael Richardson, Khary Payton, Charles Martinet
A popular culture phenomenon to rival Illumination’s most widespread IP, The Minions, and undisputedly the most beautifully animated film in Illumination Entertainment’s catalogue, The Super Mario Bros. Movie took the much-coveted Mario Bros licensing and created a crossover blockbuster hit.
The first, but almost certainly not the last, feature film of Universal’s partnership with video game giants Nintendo, The Super Mario Bros. Movie delivered enough fun, colour and excitement for children, whilst also serving nostalgia in the bucket load for the older audiences who grew up with the famous Italian plumber.
As is the case across the Illumination catalogue, The Super Mario Bros. Movie didn’t break from convention or offer anything particularly challenging or fresh, but as a fun time at the movies it certainly delivered.
1. Despicable Me (2010)
Worldwide Box Office: $543million
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher, Chris Renaud, Julie Andrews, Russell Brand, Jason Segel, Ken Jeong, Will Arnett, Jack McBrayer, Mindy Kaling, Jermaine Clement, Danny McBride, Rob Huebel
The movie that started an empire is still the undisputed greatest release in the short history of Illumination Entertainment.
Despicable Me was a four-quadrant hit that made the kids laugh, made the adults care, and appealed to everyone in between who still remembered those innocent adventures from their youth.
Heartfelt, cute and creative, the original Despicable Me was arguably one of the more enjoyable animated releases of the decade and became a cultural phenomenon thanks to those pesky Minions.
There is simply no better Illumination release than Despicable Me, the movie that put the company on the map.
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What is your favourite Illumination release? Are you a fan of the Minions, or has that moment passed? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow @thefilmagazine on Facebook and Twitter for more insightful movie lists.
Article updated 24th April 2023. Originally published 2nd August 2018.